This banana bread is what we always turn to at Gramercy Tavern for special occasion giveaways. We bake it in small paper bundt cake liners that serve two and box it up with a jar of house made chocolate hazelnut spread. We give this away to guests on special holidays like New Years Eve or Valentines Day. And during the Christmas holidays, this cake is often snuggled into a box and shipped cross-country to our friends in the restaurant industry.
Recently I was doing an event with the legendary pastry chef Michael Laiskonis. We were talking, of course, about chocolate when he suddenly asks me would I share the recipe for this cake with him. One of the world's smartest and most talented pastry chefs was asking ME for a banana cake recipe?! It took me a couple seconds to digest that. What a great compliment that was! So, this one's for you, Michael.
I made this cake many times in many forms. With and without the chocolate chunks. Pecans instead of walnuts and sometimes I've left them out altogether. I've baked it in loaf pans, muffin tins and sheet trays. Oftentimes I top it with a buttery streusel, or a plain vanilla glaze and even thick dark chocolate ganache. But my very favorite is this simple version, studded with walnuts and chocolate and lightly dusted with powdered sugar. It makes for a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
BANANA BUNDT CAKE
- 11.25oz/ 320g unbleached all purpose flour, such as King Arthur
- 1tsp/ 5g baking powder
- 1tsp/ 5g baking soda
- 2.5tsp/ 2.5 kosher salt
- 9.75oz/ 270g very ripe bananas
- 7.5oz/ 215g real buttermilk, such as Kate's
- 11.25oz/ 320g organic sugar, such as Wholesome
- 2 eggs
- 6.5oz/ 180oz butter, melted and cooled, such as Kerrygold
- 1tbsp/ 15g vanilla extract
- 3.5oz/ 100g dark chocolate chips, such as Guittard or Valrhona
- 3.5oz/ 100g walnuts, toasted and chopped*
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift flour with baking powder and soda and set aside. Mash the bananas with the salt. Add buttermilk, sugar and eggs to bananas and mix together. Slowly add melted butter in to the wet mixture while stirring. Add dry ingredients, chocolate and walnuts and fold with a spatula till it just comes together.
Spray a standard size bundt pan (10 inch, 12 cups) with non-stick cooking spray. Pour all of the batter into the pan and level it even. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached. Remove cake from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. When the cake is completely cool, dust with powdered sugar and grate extra walnuts on top with a Microplane.
This cake will hold well in an airtight container or under a cake dome for 2-3 days. It's delicious on its own or with a cup of hot Earl Gray tea. My personal favorite is to eat it at breakfast with chocolate hazelnut spread and yogurt.
TOASTING NUTS: Spread nuts on a sheet tray in a single layer, and toast in a preheated 325°F oven for 5-7 minutes. Nuts should turn a couple shades darker and smell deliciously toasty.